The Peering Eye

The Duchy of Stormhaven

Storm haven is a Mome Duchy in the Kingdom of Bigany.
It is famous for great trading houses, privateers and legendary revelry.
Despite being the original seat of Mome power many lesser houses thrive here.
The Houses of Maersk, Hunt, Swift and Norfolk are the most romanticised and dangerous.

Noble Houses
Duke Carrington Mome II (Seat City of Stormhaven, County of Deepford, Duchy of Stormhaven) – (Father assassinated)
Count Worthington Evergreen X (Seat City of Bywater, County of Farmfield)
Count Eglington Onasis (Seat Town of Durban, Count of Lakewold)
Count Wayland Swift II (Seat Town of Karst, County of Swiftshire)
Count Montgomery Trask III (Seat Town of Sweetwater, County of Downton)

Trade
This duchy used to be the wealthiest and most powerful Mome such in the Kingdom due to the trade through the ports of Bywater and Stormhaven.
The shipyards of Bywater produce a large number of advanced ships benefiting from the concentration of expertise in the city and the proximity of the wood supply in the Beastwoods.
They also produce a wide variety of high quality carpentry and wood sculptures.

Church
The city of Stormhaven hosts the largest Uisce temple outside of the capital.
Many regard it as the true home of the Uisce faith.
This temple lies on the sea floor in Stormhaven Firth, the narrow inlet leading to the city.

Navy
The Bigany Navy’s largest base is in Stormhaven.
This is where the greatest number of Navy ships and privateers are stationed.
There are considerable Naval bases in Bywater, Karst and Durban is as well.

Captain Wycliffe “Stormcrow” Hunt

A notorious privateer and infamous reveller. Many fear his wrath, more crave his gold and few share his rum.

Beware the Stormcrow and The Seawolf.

Stormhaven

Overview

A Mome Duchy in the Kingdom of Bigany. Famous for great trading houses, privateers and legendary revelry. Despite being the original seat of Mome power many lesser houses thrive here. The Hunt, Swift and Norfolk being the most romanticised and dangerous.

Places of Interest

Borkin Island

Borkin is known for fishermen, crustacean harvesters, beachcombers, pirates, and Sahuagin. The island large but very shallow and suffers terribly in storms. There is no decent deepwater harbour. There is one passable harbour on the northeast coats called Gambit harbour. Gambit is named for the bets that locals take on whether the sand currents will beach any moored vessels. Smaller pirate vessels dock there regularly for illegal trade, but they do not stay because Borkin is too close to Karst Navy and the Sahuagin. The biggest resource is a local crustacean that resembles a cross between a crab and a lobster called a borkin. They are delicious. The locals delight in calling them Borkin borkins and they are harvested for miles when the tide is out. There is a tall lonely keep on the highest point of the low island called Wayland’s folly, which acts as a lighthouse. When Sahuagin attack the islanders flee to either Gambit or Wayland’s folly

Randals Mill

The outpost is in a simple hamlet with a mill, an inn and warehouse, a farm, a few houses and a small dock for small fishing boats. It is ten miles from Karst on the western shore of Hunt Bay. It is at the top of a 40 foot cliff and has both a switchback stair and a winch to allow access to the top. The settlement is will protected from storms  There are about 30 people living here.  The inn is called The Hum and Drum and is a modest affair with six bedrooms and a common area. It is not very clean and the food is not great but it is not dangerous. The barman Case Notower is a sea elf who was injured in battles long ago.

The Seawolf

Captain Wycliffe Hunt's ship.

Chapter 0 - Prologue

Captain Hunt was granted a privateer charter against illegal shipping from Freeport, Torland,  Honoria and Elledrin.  This charter extends to all pirate and foreign military activity as well as any aggression from undersea forces. Sahuagin raids have increase along the coast. Captain Hunt has been assigned to investigate.

The Seawolf attacked a pirate vessel called ‘Blood and Death’ in Duke’s Bay as it passed the lighthouse at Duke’s Tower. The battle was ferocious and the The Seawolf took heavy casualties and was severely damaged. They lost several crew members including the Ships mage and several marines. However they gained a lot of booty and several blackpowder heavy weapons. Captain Hunt has brought the pirate Captain Jarek Quicksilver and his first mate to face the Kings justice in Stormhaven.

Chapter 1 - New Recruits

Scene: New recruits 

Captain Hunt gives a speech, kinda hoping for a troublemaker to make an example out of. Hunt is a well spoken Mome leader who is used to respect and is menacing when he is not obeyed.

“I’m not the kind of Mome you may be used to.”  
“There is always one who thinks he’s a better man than I, is it you?”
“I will keel haul anyone who disobeys an order.” 

No one his foolish enough to talk back to the captain at this point.

Scene: Introductions

Commander Mearsk introduces the Crew and assigns duties and quarters.  A questions is asked by Caleb, “What happened to the previous mage…?” No answer is forthcoming.

Scene: Sail out of Stormhaven

Its on a cold windy day. The seas are rough. It is time to adjust to sea sickness. Caleb and Guathak have a rough time of it, but the triton, the Uisce priest and the sea Elf have no problems. The Giff officer revels in the roll of the sea.

Scene: Shark Tail

The ship is being trailed by something in the water – often this is a dolphin school playing. This time it is sharks. Missile fire is of limited effectiveness but eventually works. Once a couple are killed the rest stop following. Could they be Sahuagin spies?

Scene: Navigation and assignments

Vaygo and Caleb work to Navigate the ship. Anemos joins in using magic to speed the ships passage. Commander Maersk assigns them their duties. The speed to the ship is also heavily dependent on the luck of the winds. They make a huge difference to ship speed and they get to their destination incredibly quickly.

Scene: Misty Isle

It’s shrouded in mist, but you can just make out shapes. Captain will only stop for a couple of hours to get a better tide because the ship must get to Borkin Island. Caleb deduces that there’s something strange going on with Riekan Point.

Scene: A strange attack

The new recruits go ashore at Misty Island. They are attacked by phantasms of their past. Two hobgoblins in Torlandish armor, Two wolves, Two Sahugain. These are being formed from nothing out of their fears and actively disbelieving these illusions does not seem to be enough to prevent them from being affected. There is a presence that doesn’t want them there. So they leave.

Scene: Arrival at Borkin.

Its a rainy cloudy day. They land at Gambit via a rowing boat.  The town is locked up tight. They are attacked by a Sahuagin patrol. It is a tough fight but they emerge victorious.

Chapter 2 - Dragon Turtle Gambit

Scene: Borkin Island 

Several Sahuagin manage to infiltrate the village of Gambit and the townsfolk aided by the party fend them off. They meet in the tavern “The Sanddodger’s Rest” (It has a picture of a quaint village inn called “The Borkin Borkin”) and plan the defence.

The town is defended by a wooden palisade on land and by a massive chain net across the harbour mouth. This net was supplied by the Royal Navy and it is raised by a pair of winches. There are about a dozen buildings inside the palisade including the tavern. James Mattock, a dwarf with black leather and an eyepatch is their leader.

Scene: Gambit

The Sahuagin attack in two waves a couple of times falling back each time. On the third attack a sea elf releases the winches that hold the net and the Sahuagin force enters the harbour.

Scene: Dragon Turtle

The Sahuagin have managed to enslave a Dragon Turtle. It bursts into the village from the harbour tearing down the winch and engulfing the town in a cloud of steam.  It is barely controlled and seems ready to turn on its captors kill some and flee the battle. The battle is ferocious, in the midst of it Gauthak and Vaygo jump onto the Dragon Turtle’s back and kill the Sahuagin Priestess controlling it and then the beast itself.

Chapter 3 - The Battle of Borkin Island

Scene: Skirmishes on The Beach

The Captain signals to the party to leave the village and head to the lighthouse with survivors attract Sahuagin patrols. The ship then opens fire on those patrols with bombards - which are extremely effective. There is a vicious battle with Sahuagin before they are driven off. Vaygo suspects that they are still tailing the the group.

Scene: Bombard Balls

Gauthak catches a bombard ball to protect the party. Bombard fire is very dangerous to friendly troops. The bombards obliterate two groups of twelve sahuagin, the party surives but just barely. The party make good use of spells particularly Caleb’s ice knife and Anemos’ Thunderwave. Vaygo uses fog cloud to break off battle direct bombard fire.

Scene: Congratulations

They return to the ship to rest and the Captain praises their efforts. Over 60 sahugain have been killed and they have taken no losses.

Scene: Dick The Drunk

They track Anemos’ brother Richard Trask to Gambit where they speak to James Mattock about him and then head to The Borkin Borkin (an inn on the coast on a small rise with a short cliff). Richard Trask is a useless drunk who is filthy rich, a marquis and heir to the County of Downton. He looks like Anemos but shorter and stupider. The villagers call him Dick The Drunk. Ran out of the building in a panic.

Scene: The Sea Devil Baron

They are ambushed by a Sahugain Baron and his retinue. The Baron defeats Gauthak but it badly injured in the fight and so he flees from the party, jumping out the second storey window into the sea. Caleb knocks him unconscious with a silver falcon critical and Gauthak retrieves the body. Anemos is eager to interrogate him.

Chapter 4 - War and Piracy

Scene: Sahuagin Rescue Attempt

The Setesh sends the others away because they are faffing around and he wants to interrogate the captive in private. A group of sahuagin attack in an attempt to reduce the Baron. Anemos uses a huge Thunderwave (maximised and channel divinity) to blast them all out of the inn and then Caleb takes one down with a Silver Falcon. The rest are dispatched quickly. Anemos smashes the Baron’s foot with his hammer. He loses consciousness so Anemos wakes him.

Scene: Ginesh Hearteater

They let the Baron suffer from drying out (exposure) to exhaust him for questioning. His name is Baron Ginesh Hearteater. He is in charge of the forces raiding the coast. The Sahuagin Queen Tarlga has converted to worship of Eirleach (Slaughter). There was been a short and bloody civil war between rival sects. The High Setesh (a sea elf from Mirala) didn’t send sufficient support. He suspects that her racism towards Sahuagin was the reason for this.

They have taken dozens of slaves back to their raiding camps, to be worked to death, played with and eaten. One of them looked like Anemos. He remembers because he was particularly irritating and loud even after capture. The Baron and his men were looking forward to torturing him. 

He claims that is likely that there will be more counter attacks to either rescue him or retrieve his body, a war party that looses their Baron will suffer greatly and be torn apart by other Barons men. There are two hundred Sahuagin under his command including a dozen spellcasters priestesses and shaman. The spell casters have rituals and potions (Rashok’s Green Oil) to allow survival underwater.  He says Tarlga wants dominion over all of the Bigany coast and to destroy the Uisce Temple in Stormwatch. She is in the capital city. 

They swear on their gods not to kill him for 7 days if he shows them how to harvest the oil. They learn to harvest the green oil so they can go underwater. They also get two portions of the Barons oil for themselves. They discuss the terms of returning the baron. Three months cessation of hostilities and the return of Marquis Richard Trask V.

Scene: The Exchange

There are hundreds of sahuagin at the exchange and The Seawolf prowls around within bombard range. The sahuagin lead out Dick and the party lead out the Ginesh. The exchange happens peacefully. The Sahuagin leave the area and return to raiding, the attack on Borkin is at an end.

Scene: We Need To Talk About Richard

Dick informs Anemos that he swallowed the county signet ring every morning to keep it out of sahuagin hands. He is terrified and chastened after his ordeal. They go back to the inn where Anemos gives him a scarifying lecture. Dick will probably not be killed for stealing the ring. They are nephews of the count who has no heirs and his is useful to him as a child maker. If Anemos remains in the church and continues to renounce his claim. Richard could be the next Count of Downton.

Scene: Mysterious Ship

The Seawolf sets sail for Karst. A dark ship is seen at night but quickly disappears (Some of the crew whisper fearfully about The Black Heart). The captain stands down the alert and then invites them to have a brandy in his quarter. This is not the first time that this ship has been spotted. Captain Hunt is almost impossible to read, the crew never want to play cards with him, but he seems in the verge of sharing something. Hunt is more regretful than fearful. Then he composes himself and the moment passes. He does mention that he has seen it more frequently since Balthazar died. He also makes an odd passing reference to Caleb’s ‘people’ and watches him closely for a response. Then pirates attack!

Scene: Pirates!

A pirate attacks The Seawolf but when she raises her flags and fires her bombard’s their captain realises his mistake and it tries to flee. The Seawolf immediately gives chase. The fleeing pirate vessel is “The Bloody Coin”. 

Anemos uses gust of wind to catch up while Caleb attacks the helmsman with silver falcon. This allows them to rapidly gain on the fleeing vessel. Then the cannons roar and she is badly damaged. 

The Seawolf crew grapples and board The Bloody Coin. Anemos casts thunderwave. Captain Hunt grabs a rope, kicks a winch and goes flying up in the dark rigging above. Moments later he is seen flitting between the rigging along the yardarm. Then he drops behind the enemy captain and he smashes his head with the pommel of his smoking skull rapier. 

Caleb acrobatically leaps into the enemy’s midst and attacks the first mate with shadow blade and shield. A single combat is engineered by The Seawolf crew eager to see this battle. Caleb is knocked unconscious by William Morris but Anemos heals him with a word and he lashes out with a silver falcon strike, claiming victory form the jaws of defeat.  Caleb takes William Morris’ Black Dragon-skin Belt with a Mithral Belt Buckle as a trophy of his victory.

The battle ends soon after.  Most of the enemy crew are dead but Hunt orders that a select few are taken prisoner. The Captain (Martin Pike) and First Mate (William Morris) are taken to be hanged in Karst for piracy and treason. Captain Pike used to sail with Red Black Jack Jake Jade Beard.

Chapter 5 - Drugs, Visions and General Mayhem

Scene: Pirate Attack Aftermath

The party finishes the last few pirates and the rest surrender. They search for booty and discuss whether to scuttle the ship or keep it.  The captain asks Anemos and Caleb for suggestions. Many plans are discussed. Several members of the pirate crew are tortured by Wycliffe and Harmon Phillips, until they disclose their pirate smuggling base location. Captain Hunt dispatches the party to raid the settlement, kill the pirates and recover their supplies.

He watches their progress through a scryglass. He doesn’t seem to care how they get the treasure and supplies as long as they succeed.

 

Scene: Slam Fuelled Vision

Anemos, Gauthak and Vaygo examine the cargo. They find Sloop, Cockerel and Slam.

Gauthak takes a tiny taste of the strongest of these, Slam. He feels a surge of euphoria. This seems potent! Using years of medical knowledge, Anemos encourages him take the most substantial dose that will not kill him. Gauthak starts tripping balls almost immediately. He is overcome with euphoria and filled with energy. He starts hallucinating that Uisce is telling him to conquer her foes in the sea. He is absolutely convinced without a shadow of a doubt that this is a vision from Uisce and he charges up the stairs from the cargo hold and leaps into the sea. He starts attacking the water with his greataxe. Anemos is very pleased.

 

Scene: Shark battle

Vaygo and Anemos join the rest of the crew on the deck looking dow at the Goliath hacking away at the water trying not to drown. Then the sharks attack. Gauthak is not in any state to defend himself, having only learned to swim a few days previously and not having learned that you can’t effectively attack creatures in the water with a great axe, let alone swim well last the same time. The sharks start taking chunks out of him and he cannot retaliate.

Vaygo leaps off the side of the ship and trident downwards plunges towards the water to attack a shark.

Vaygo being a triton is well adapted to underwater combat and soon turns the tide of the battle. His trident is well suited to fighting sharks. He also spies a sahuagin on the back of one shark using it as a mount. It seems that the shark attack is not a co-incidence, perhaps they are being tailed by the Sahuagin, perhaps this is a scout sent by the sahuagin warlord Baron Ginesh Hearteater.

Anemos uses the power of Uisce to magically drown the sahuagin. It comes as a shock to the amphibious warrior that his ability to breath water has ben revoked. While his is puzzling over this, Vaygo thrusts a spear through his neck. Caleb joins them on the deck and sends a shark to sleep this has an odd effect because sharks cannot sleep, so it simply floats away harmlessly. Then he uses his magics to start bladesinging, conjure a shadow blade and leap into the water to attack the sharks. His dive is spectacular and even impresses the battle hardened privateer crew. Anemos monitors the battle and decides not to waste any more magic on it, happily taking effective potshots as the occasional shark head.

 

Scene: Mighty Feats

Soon the battle of over but Gauthak looks wildly around for more fires to conquer and starts to swim slowly after a fleeing shark. He will never catch it and will die of exhaustion if he is not stopped. No one wants to try to stop Gauthak. At 8’2” and 490 pounds he is seen as a massive and unstoppable force.

Caleb cleverly persuades Gauthak that he can conquer the seas by pulling the ship. Gauthak now believes that Caleb is the voice of Uisce. The suggestion of course make almost no sense but that doesn’t matter to the drug addled mind of Gauthak Kalagiano which was not a cognitive powerhouse before taking the drugs. He latches onto this side because it is something he knows he can accomplish. Gauthak puts every ounce of his being into pulling the ship by dragging on a rope thrown from the deck.

Everyone aboard knows there is no way one lone figure can move a warship by himself and they all have a good laugh at his expense. Then he starts to move the ship. The laughter stops and jaws drop. Gauthak good at moving things. As a young goliath he could drag a one ton stone block up a hill to help build fortifications. Dragging a ship in the sea is very different, but fuelled by drugs, religious zeal and the spirit of Uisce he manages it. He continues to manage it for two hours. Vaygo directs the direction of Gauthak’s journey into long circle. At that point the drugs and the vision wear off. Gauthak collapses from exhaustion and starts to drown. The crew winch him aboard the ship. Anemos heals Gauthak using magic and commands him to not be exhausted. The drugs, vision, divine magic, religious zeal and simple suggestion all make a huge impression on Gauthak’s simple mind. He now believes that Anemos is Uisce’s divine instrument and speak her will. Gauthak now obeys Anemos and will find it very difficult to disobey and command from him. (It will required DC15 Charisma save to disobey). 

 

Scene: Randal’s Mill

Caleb suggests using The Bloody Coin to infiltrate Randal’s Mill. What no one really considers at this point is that he really means attack the settlement and kill everyone. Caleb uses silent image to disguise the crew to look more like the crew that they killed previously. The sail to Randal’s Mill dock, ostensibly being chased by The Seawolf. They convince the lookouts at the harbour that they are under attack. The lookout ring the alarm bells and run up the stairs to rally support.

Anemos, Caleb, Gauthak and Vaygo reach the main street of the small settlement and are met by a small militia of around a dozen people holding crossbows. Their leaders question them as to who they are, and what they want. Caleb tells them that they are being attacked by The Seawolf. That doesn’t really answer they question as to why these strangers are and why Captain Pike and Willian Morris are not with them. Then they notice that Caleb is wearing William Morris’ belt. This could have been explained away with cunning deception but unfortunately this is not the forte of any of the party. Caleb’s guilty look, having beaten Morris in single combat and taken his belt), an hesitation is the final spark to ignite the explosive tension. The militia leaders order an attack.

Anemos races forward and summons the power of Uisce, slamming his hammer into the ground he sends many of the militia flying away with a thunderous boom. The militia leaders, veteran of many sea battle and uncounted storms, stand their ground. They attack the isolated Cleric, using well practiced team tactics to bludgeon him into submission. The militia then open fire on him with the crossbows and he falls.

Vaygo and Caleb use ice knives and hails of thorns to neutralise the militias right flank. The left flank peppers them with arrows and Caleb raises a magic shield to protect himself. Gauthak roars into the fray against the militia leaders to protect his messiah Anemos. He is in a highly energised state thanks to the dangerous drugs given to him earlier by Anemos. With Cockeral pounding through his veins and religious fury in his soul Gauthak towers above the militia and despite being struck by many bolts and many mace strikes, he remains standing. 

Caleb and Vaygo engage is a protracted shooting match with the left flank of the militia until Caleb manages to send them to sleep with his magic. Finally they overcome the last of the veterans and all goes momentarily quiet.

They later realise that the Captain is watching it all through his scry-glass.

 

Scene: Aftermath

Vaygo heals Anemos with his gooseberries. He also resolves to cast gooseberry every morning. They notice that there are reinforcements coming, four smuggler patrols are coming with crossbows and dogs. These forces combined are a force equal to the militia and they decide that fleeing is the optimal course. Anemos instructs Gauthak to grab both of the militia leaders. Which he does. Caleb manages to persuade Gauthak that taking the stairs is more effective than jumping into the sea. They flee the village with the hounds of the militia closing fast. They cast off in a hurry, Caleb chiding the sailors for not coming to their aid in the battle. Anemos casts a fog cloud in he bank to obscure their escape and provide cover from crossbow fire. Vaygo casts gust of wind to blast the ship away from the cliff and out of range. Caleb returns fire with Silver Falcon.

They return to the ship for a well deserved rest. The Captain asks them why the attack the village when the objective was to gather information and then either sell the cargo, make a deal, take over the operation or inform the authorities. There is an admission that the mission was a small bit S.W.A.N.T.. The Captain and First Mate decide to torture the prisoners to make them more talkative. He then invites the party to cross examine them. They reveal that the smuggling operation has several ships that provide them with merchandise and that they have the support of two local nobles. 

The Captain appears to have a change of heart about the mission objectives since they last spoke. He is not pleased that the attack was so obvious, particularly because nobles are involved. He asks them to return and gather information about the village and the operation. Then they can proceed as they fit. He advises them not to kill nobles without thinking through the consequences. They start to plan their next foray. They note that no one who saw them is still alive so they should be able infiltrate their way back into the village. Using the same ship will be tricky though and Gauthak’s size could make him recognisable. But these are problems for another day.

 

Smuggler Intelligence

The following information has been gathered by Caleb, Aenmos, Vaygo, Commander Maersk and Captain Hunt:

The smugglers leader is called Risky Pete and he lives up to his name. Missing an eye, an ear and a few fingers. He wears a bat leather eye patch with three pearls. His has a room in the tavern. 

There are a couple of local nobles helping them:

Lord Morrison Norfolk of Litany, a dandy and a rockstar duellist.

Baron Sheffield Swift of Karst (first cousin of the Count Wayland Swift II), a plump and arrogant noble.

 

When the nobles, Norfolk and Swift visit, they often spend the night drinking in the local tavern with Risky Pete .

They occasionally have Torlandish games pitting contestants against a bear they trapped in the warehouse. The cliff and incoming roads are patrolled by pirates with war dogs. There are bulky smuggled items in the warehouse (whiskey, brandy, wine, rare woods, fine cloth) The real smuggling valuables (drugs, spices, poisons and weapons are in the mill cellar). More smuggled goods can be found in the cellar of the inn.

 

The main hub of the operation is the mill that has been taken over by the smugglers and they use this as a staging point for smuggling their goods, with the help of local nobles. There are veterans and bandits defending it. They have brandy, whiskey, drugs, rare wood and spices. The captured smugglers guess that the cargo could be worth up to 20,000gp value.

Chapter 6 – The Smuggling Business

Scene 1: Night Attack

An attempt is made on Anemos’ life aboard The Bloody Coin by a Sahugain assassin. He puts up a ferocious frenzied fight but even though his target is unarmoured, he is slain. He has markings cut into his flesh that indicate he is from a different barony to Hearteater. He has enhanced coral claws that were grafted on in a magical ritual. This could be a new experimental weapon. Vaygo checks his navigation maps and he notes that Speculation Cove, is only a few miles away from Randal’s Mill and it has a trail leading up to the road. They sail there with the aid of Captain Hunt’s loaned crew members.

 

Scene 2: Planning

Anemos, Vaygo and Caleb plan how to tackle the Randal’s Mill mission. They decide to construct false identities and disguise themselves. Their alter egos are called Anemos Green, Caleb Carpenter and Vaygo Gator. Caleb and Vaygos disguises are masterful. They concoct a well thought out script about their false mission and then take the unprecedented step of cross examining each other on their false identities. They set out on the coastal path to Randal’s Mill carrying only a few small samples of the contraband they wish to sell. They leave The Bloody Coin moored at Speculation Cove.

 

Scene 3: The Joy of Spoons

They arrive at Randal’s Mill. The outpost is in a simple hamlet with a mill, an inn and warehouse, a farm, a few houses and a small dock for small fishing boats. It is ten miles from Karst on the western shore of Hunt Bay. It is at the top of a 40 foot cliff and has both a switchback stair and a winch to allow access to the top. The settlement is well protected from storms  There are about 30 people living here. 

They are stopped by Jacob the guard. He warily asks them who they are and what they want but doesn’t really seem to care about the answers given. He asks for a bribe when they ask him for information about the town and is astounded when he is given a metal spoon. He has never had his own spoon before! He is clearly very poor. He eagerly tells them all they need to know and directs them to Risky Pete in the Hum and Drum. When they also give him a knife and a fork, he becomes even more loose tongued and tells them that there is a brown bear kept in a warehouse for gladitorial contests and that two nobles from Karst and Litany visit frequently.

 

Scene 3: The Hum and Drum 

They head to the Inn. The inn is called The Hum and Drum and is a modest affair with six bedrooms and a common area. It is not very clean and the food is not great but it is not dangerous. Randal’s Mill Hooch is a copper a shot. Caleb gets a whiskey. The barman Case Notower is a sea elf who was injured in battles long ago. They ask the barman to help them find Risky Pete. He points to a nearby table where a middle aged man with a huge purple hat, an eyepatch and noble looking clothing sits with a full bottle and empty chairs.

 

Scene 4: Negotiating with Risky Pete

Risky Pete is friendly and alarmingly well informed. Unlike the patrolman Jacob, Risky Pete quickly deduces who his guests are. He is observant and a reasonable judge of probabilities. Caleb notices that his pearl and black bat leather eyepatch appears magical concludes that this may be assisting Pete with both Gambling and Smuggling.

There is a long an protracted series of negotations, where Anemos does a lot of listening and Caleb does most of the talking. Anemos has prearranged that he will only interject into the negotiations when he notices that something is off. Caleb is more skilled at subterfuge and he does not wish to give away anything.

 

Scene 5: Closing the Deal

During the long and quite amiable conversation the tense situation evolves into a mutually respectful bartering session. They agree a fair price for the contraband, selling everything and making a profit of 600 gold pieces each. Caleb acquires a green dye for Gauthak to mix with his body oil.

Risky Pete has an infected eye which Anemos cures. Anemos also agrees to tend to the wounded who are recuperating in a room upstairs in the inn. He uses his medical knowledge to speed their recovery, prevent infections and make them more comfortable. He uses his healing magic on two others that would surely have died without his help. Risky Pete notes that this will help him sway the other smugglers to the idea of doing business with The Bloody Coin rather than seeking revenge. Good will and a lot of coin will go a long way.

 

Scene 6: Gambling

Caleb plays poker with Risky Pete and altough it is a close call he wins the game. Risky Pete took one risk too many but also made a terrible blunder misreading the cards. This glaring error could have been on purpose, though Risky Pete does not seem the kind to deliberately lose any gambling endeavour. Perhaps there was another cause of this suspicious lapse. 

During the course of the game Risky Pete freely reveals that two nobles will be here to play in an invitation only game in two nights. Caleb asks for their names and Pete is happy to tell him that they are Morrson Norfolk and Sheffield Swift. The game has a 100gp buy in.

They return to the ship and sail it back to Randal’s Mill. The cargo exchange is done quickly efficiently and fairly under many watchful eyes. Then they return to The Seawolf.

 

Scene 7: Privateers

Captain Hunt is very pleased with how this second attempt at the mission went. He takes his usual one third cut of the profits. He tells them that he must sail The Seawolf to Karst immediately, he has received a message from the Admiralty, “There’s a war and we need all hands.”

He has 13 barrells of whiskey that he had intended to smuggle into Karst. That will be tricky now. He makes Caleb and Anemos an offer, “Take The Bloody Coin and her crew and complete the smuggling operation”. He suggests a standing arrangement. He will assign them work and if they complete it without his involvement he will only take a tithe (10% cut) of the profits. If he, his main crew or The Seawolf need to be actively involved, he will take the usual third. He notes that his ship The Bloody Coin and his crew are on loan and that the crew will need to be paid by them.

 

Scene 8: The Bloody Coin

Hunt sails the Seawolf to Karst. They strike a deal with The Bloody Coin’s twenty crew members to pay them for their services. They are expensive thugs but they are experianced and far tougher and well trained than normal pirates. They will receive 2gp each per week or four shares of treasure. This will need to be finalised when the reach Karst.

As they sail back to Randal’s Mill, Caleb notices something odd about the Inn, but he can’t seem to figure out what it is. It is not an arcane matter. His hunch is that there is something odd about the rooms. He resolves to investigate further when he returns to The Hum and Drum the following night for the Poker game with Risky Pete, Morrsion Norfolk and Sheffield Swift.

Chapter 7 - Gambling, Snooping and The Letter

Scene 1: A Fateful Message

While Anemos is mediating on how best to defat the enemies of Uisce a large albino crab sidles up to him and starts writing a message in seawater in the decking of his cabin. The message is: “The letter is real. Uisce's time is at hand. Rebellion! Find the letter.” It was sent by Hyacinth Crismontide XIII in Stormhaven, the High Priestess of Uisce.

 

Scene 2: Randal’s Mill Backup

Caleb has been subtly investigating all of The Bloody Coin’s crew looking for people with potential, he decides to focus on Cecily Fulton as his personal project. He realises that Cecily has a lot of serious psychological issues but decides that her sorcerous powers and strangely varied knowledge are worth the risk. Anemos commands two of the crew, Claira Qualanthri (a female elf) and Mord Jenkins (a male half-orc), to accompany him as bodyguards.

 

Scene 3: Casing the Joint

When they arrive at the village Caleb investigates The Hum and Drum and notices that it seems bigger on the outside than the number of rooms inside would suggest. They note that this is a reverse tardis, otherwise known as a turdis. They wander around the village and observe that it is very tense. The smugglers are all ready to attack at a moments notice but are maintaining the truce. They also investigate the mill. There are four smugglers, each with a mastiff, guarding it. They watch another smuggler arrive and see that the door is unlocked by a key held by one of the guards. The smuggler takes a small chest from the mill and brings it to the inn. Anemos casts a Locate Object spell focusing on Slam to see where the valuables in the village might be. He detects that there is some slam in his person, there is a lot in the Mill and there is some in the Inn. There is also a faint glimmer from the warehouse where the bear is held and from Gauthak, who is still on the ship purging it from his system. 

 

Scene 4: The Hum and Drum

As soon as he enters the square donut shaped inn, Caleb is greeted by Case Notower. He buys a bottle of whiskey rather than the cheap hooch and Anemos has a glass of water. All the while, Caleb is examining the building to see what is odd about it. Finally it dawns on him. There are five rooms: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. Room Three is missing. He then notices that there is well disguised new masonry in the place where room three should be. He deduces that room two must be extra large. They later discover that Room two is Risky Pete’s Room.

 

Scene 5: Find The Letter

Anemos has been meditating on how to find The Letter mentioned in the crab’s message. He casts another Locate Object spell to find it. Despite the fact that Anemos knows almost nothing of the letter, the spell takes effect and he is almost stunned by a flash of blinding white light in his mind. This is extremely unusual. That is not how the spell normally works. Once his mind clears, he detects that Case Notower has a letter and that there is several letters in Risky Pete’s room. This doesn’t bring him closer to revealing The Letter he is searching for. Caleb reveals that he too has been tasked with obtaining a copy of a letter. He does not reveal who asked him or where he was told it might be.

 

Scene 6: Gambling with Risky Pete

Risky Pete arrives back to the common area and warmly greets Caleb and Anemos. To pass the time Risky Pete and Caleb, play for the expensive dagger that Caleb won from Pete a few days earlier. They play for an hour or so before Caleb yet again emerges victorious. During the game, Caleb notices how powerful Pete’s magical eyepatch is and how much is helps him while gambling. Pete displays his gambling compulsion by challenging Caleb to a double or quits dice rolling bet. Caleb tries in vain to resist temptation but he cannot. They roll double or quits for the one hundred gold piece value of the dagger. Risky Pete and Caleb are both unable to control their impulses and keep doubling and gambling. Fortune favours Caleb as Risky Pete looses three double or quits dice throws in a row and finally gives up.

 

Scene 7: You Did What?!

Caleb is drunk on gambling victory and whiskey. He is consumed with desire to get Risky Petes magical eyepatch, and so he bets the The Bloody Coin against the eyepatch. He will fight the bear in the pit in the warehouse in single combat with no outside help. If the bear wins, Risky Pete gets the ship (Caleb doesn’t mention that the ship belongs to Captain Hunt) and if Caleb wins he gets the eyepatch. Anemos hears this and he is incredulous! But after some consideration he laughs and says, it will be entertaining to watch Caleb mauled by a bear or win. Either way is good.

 

Scene 8: More Snooping

Caleb performs a detect magic ritual so they can find all of the magic items in the Inn. Risky Pete is wearing a magical eyepatch (which they knew) and he has a couple of magical potions on his belt.  He tries to scan the mysterious Room three, but the walls block the spell. Caleb tries to scan the secret room from below (the wooden floors do not block the spell) but he is not allowed to enter the kitchen. Setesh Anemos barges into the common area and hurls him into the kitchen shouting “Get me water!” The innkeeper starts to object but a ferocious glare from Anemos stops him in his tracks and the objection trails off into a frightened mumble. Inside the kitchen Caleb examines room three from underneath but there are no magical items detected.

 

Scene 9: The Nobles Arrive

The smugglers call out to inform Risky Pete that there are new arrivals. He returns to his room so that he can make a grand entrance. A very expensive carriage, worth about two thousand gold pieces, races into the village drawn by four good quality horses. There are two guards standing on the sides of the carriage, but is it not easy to determine their combat capabilities. The carriage stops outside the inn and two nobles emerge with their valets. Baron Sheffield Swift is an arrogant and fat noble who mistreats his lackeys. Morrison Norfolk is a lot more amenable and affable. He plays his lute raucously at any excuse and accompanies it my mimicking high pitched lute notes. The Baron is rude but his nephew Farrage Swift is a horrible petulant child with sorcerous power. Farrage almost attacks the people in the inn over an imagined slight and he is verbally admonished by Sheffield.  Flames erupt in the child’s hands and his looks on the verge of attempting to incinerate the inn but then he threatens everyone with death and storms off to his room.

 

Scene 10: Snoop Snoop Snoop Aha!

Caleb returns to his room and casts detect magic once again and he scans the new arrivals. This time the notice something new. While none of the nobles have any magic items on them, Sheffield has a piece of parchment in a hidden satchel that detects as having a minuscule glimmer of magic. This would not normally be detectable except for the fact that Caleb is so focused on scanning Sheffield. Anemos is certain that this is The Letter. Risky Pete notices that the Setesh and Caleb are watching him and coughs loudly two and a half times to signal his companions. They move to Risky Petes Room and lock the door.

 

Scene 11: More Familiar Snooping

Caleb and Anemos return to their room. The ask Cecily to cast invisibility on Caleb’s familiar and he sends it out of the window to spy on the conversation that is happening in room three. However Risky Pete has had all the windows to his room closed and barred. Caleb tries to get the hawk to move between the roof and ceiling to it can literally eaves drop. The building is surprisingly well maintained and there is no way through. So Caleb calls the hawk back and instead uses his rapier to cut a hole in the ceiling of his room. The hawk then goes into the hole and over to spy on Risky Pete. They are all discussing the letter and it seems from the muffled conversation that it concerns both the Church of Uisce and The Crown of Bigany. This redoubles their sense of urgency to obtain The Letter.

 

Scene 12: The Big Game

Baron Sheffield Swift, Lord Morrison Norfolk, Risky Pete and Caleb Beltorc finally sit down and play their high steaks game. Each player puts in a stake of a hundred gold pieces. Caleb prays to Glic and his prayers are rewarded on two separate occasions. His photographic memory, his skills at reading people and his knowledge of the rules are superior to his opponents. Sheffield and Norfolk are both eliminated within an hour. Both buy back in with another one hundred gold each. Over the next few hours Sheffield’s luck is terrible and after buying back in and going bust three times he storms off. Caleb offers him a bottle of whiskey as he is leaving and he almost graciously returns to take it before he leaves. By this time most of the guards have come in from their patrols with their mastiffs by their sides. They are rapt by the struggle unfolding before them. Their dogs bark deeply on occasion but no one pays them any mind.

The the minimum bets are raised even higher as it is getting late and they want to maximise their excitement. The pot moves back and forth erratically as the players are well matched, drunk and reckless. Caleb invokes Glic again and this small advantage is enough to ensure that in the end the pot is. He wins nine hundred gold pieces! Glic’s favour will remains with him.

Morrison Norfolk is a gracious looser and invites Caleb to Karst to stay as his guest and to join him for partying and gambling. He presents Caleb with a card for his personal tailor and advises him to arrive with ‘a different aspect’ when he visits. This may mean that Norfolk believes there is far more to Caleb than meets the eye. He seems to suspect that Caleb belongs in the nobility. Of course it could just be that Momes love to party.

 

Scene 13: Midnight Heist

Anemos is completely obsessed with acquiring the letter. During the game he spends little time paying attention to the game. Instead he absently strokes a mastiff’s ears and concocts plans to acquire The Letter. He considers demanding it. That would work but it’s crude and obvious. He considers ordering the crew of The Bloody Coin to attack the village and kill everyone. That would also work but currently seems a little excessive and inelegant. He considers using Caleb, Caleb’s familiar, Cecily’s invisibility spell and his silence spell during the night to quietly retrieve it. That should also work and despite being a little too subtle, it is probably the way to go. These people could still be more useful to him as allies than as corpses.

Once everyone is asleep and only  small lamp illuminates the common area, Caleb emerges from their room, thieves tools in hand. He is invisible thanks to Cecily and silent thanks to Anemos. His hawk is with Anemos so that he can signal him if there is trouble. Caleb easily picks the lock and swings the door open. 

There he gets a massive shock. There is a guard. Right in from of him. He is in a chair facing the door, with a loaded crossbow. It is deadly quiet due to the spell. The guard doesn’t move. After a while Caleb realises that the guard is snoring but the silence spell is blocking the noise. The guard has fallen asleep on his watch. Sheffield and his valet are asleep in their beds and the satchel is on a side table near the sleeping guard. Caleb quickly opens the satchel, finds an expensive parchment bound with a black silk ribbon, stuffs it in his pocket and leaves the room. He locks the door behind him leaving a few minute scratches in the metal after several botched attempts. He returns to Anemos and they read The Letter.

 

Scene 14: The Maius Bonum Letter

The Letter is even more shocking than they imagined. It is the blasphemy and treason equivalent of plutonium. This is The Maius Bonum Letter. It has changed the world.